After working in Human Resources for ten years, I’ve seen countless resumes of individuals with unfortunate names. When calling a candidate with one of these unfortunate names, it’s always a bit awkward. You don’t want your first encounter with a person to be one where you butcher their name and then they have to correct you. And if you have a name we can pronounce, but that is ridiculous, the HR department has likely made fun of you prior to making contact. I know their parents wanted their kid to be an individual or special, but likely never thought about them applying for a job. This really should be a consideration when you name your children.
Since it took us about 2 ½ years to get pregnant we had a lot of time to discuss names. I believe I have the most popular girl’s name of the 1980’s, which was evident in my high school graduating class. I went to an all-girl school and sometimes it felt like there were 200 Jessica’s of about 230 girls in my class. I’m named after my Grandmother Jessie and my maiden name is not common in the Louisville area, so I never minded my name. The rest of my class was made up of girls named Katie, Jennifer, Jenny, Laura, or Lauren, with a Sarah sprinkled in here or there. After becoming a Wilson, I became very common, which has resulted in a numerous issues with collections calls and a minor banking issue with another Jessica Wilson.
Jeremy is very good at ruining names. I would suggest a name and he would say “it’s a good name, but only if she’s hot.” What does that mean?? He also had the misfortune of looking like the book character “Waldo” when growing up, so middle school left some pretty good scars. He can easily ruin a name with an ugly schoolyard nickname. Some examples are “Cooper the pooper” and “Nolan the colon” (are you seeing a theme?). He also vetoed a favorite girl name over spelling and pronunciation concerns. “Mihaela” is the name of a little girl I worked with in a Romanian orphanage and I always liked her name. But Jeremy was right; I was going against my own advice. “Jacob” had long been a favorite of mine, but with its extreme popularity, I gave up rights to it and my nephew is probably the cutest Jake around. Plus, we didn’t want to do the “J” theme for our family.
With my requirements for a less common, but not weird name, and Jeremy’s uncanny ability to ruin them, it took us quite awhile to come up with names upon which we both agreed. I used the Social Security names database to make sure the names weren’t too popular and also Googled our name options to make sure we were not giving our kids the name of a porn star or of someone on a terror watch list.
Grant Louis and Maria Isabel fit the bill. Grant fits his laid back personality and Maria definitely fits her name…she’s a little spicy spitfire.